In recent years, the phrase “aging in place” has received a lot of attention by aging seniors and their families. The most accurate definition of “aging in place” is adapting or readapting an apartment or home to the advancing needs of aging senior citizens. Aging in place depends on the physical and mental health of the aging.
Familiar Surroundings That Become Alien Environments
One of the advantages of aging in place is familiarity with surroundings where seniors live. However, this can be a compromising situation especially if there are physical debilitations. It takes careful planning to arrive at the best solutions and decisions regarding aging in place. Begin planning by discussing the needs of the aging thoroughly. This should start long before decisions become necessary.
Know Their Wishes Beforehand
Most individuals know their wishes for their senior years well before they reach an age when health changes related to normal aging are apparent. Encourage aging relatives early to make their feelings known on to their families and friends who are involved in their planning for their future. This helps make families and friends aware of an aging individual’s wishes.
Adapting To Changes
One of the most difficult issues for most aging seniors is adapting to radical changes in their lives. Creature comforts they’ve come to rely on and the security of familiar surroundings can help retain vigor and mental acuity and may become the basis for maintaining a routine of good health. Introduce change gradually to a aging individual’s living space. This is one way of overcoming elder resistance to necessary changes.
Drawbacks Of Aging In Place
It’s crucial to understand that all individuals, regardless of age, have a basic human need for independence. Aging seniors find the most difficulty with relinquishing their independence and autonomy. Retrofit their living space with all of the safety accessories that make senior lifestyles less hazardous and more secure. However, the issue of whether the aging can maintain adequate personal care can become obscured in their efforts to retain their autonomy and independence. This issue is a main drawback of aging in place that exacerbates over the long term.
Planning For Aging In Place
Families should discuss how much or how little care is adequate with aging relatives. Many of these seniors prefer to manage their own lives without realizing they may be compromising good health. Planning for aging in place should be practical as well as beneficial to all concerned. A plan of action that has the elements of gradual change according to changing health needs is likely to work best when discussed fully. Plan strategies for aging in place for the short term and long term to cover any potential problems that will arise.
Where To Find The Best Resources For Planning
Fortunately, there are a vast supply of resources that assist families with plans for aging in place. Start with local resources that assist with changes to home design needed to assure safety. This might be a senior citizen resource center in a local town, county or state. There are easily accessible statewide resources for most senior citizen needs. Certain private organizations also serve the aging. Some of these organizations are non-profit, while others are not. Choose the resources that best fit the financial situations of the aged.
Resources For Aging In Place
Regular senior citizen transportation is also available through city, county and state subsidies that make travel safe and affordable. Keep this in mind when driving a personal vehicle by the aging is no longer an option. The federal government also can be prevailed upon for assistance through Medicare or Medicaid. The Social Security Administration also offers assistance to seniors in need. Look for an information clearing house for directives or assistance with aging in place. AARP is one such informational group that provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information.
Aging In Place – A Mutual Choice
Families with aging parents want to insure their golden years are safe and offer maximum quality of life. This takes advance planning. The crux of discussions should focus on arriving at a mutual choice based upon mutual understanding between the aging and their families.